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The Vision Of Piers Plowman: "B" Text Paperback – 1995
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But of coket or clermatyn or ellis of clene whete
That sentence is translated as follows:
But only loaves made of fine wheat flour, or at least only out of wheat unmixed.
There is a lot of latin thrown in as well, so if you are a curious reader who has no background in germanistics or medieval literature, this might not be the book for you. You will probably understand 60-70 percent of what is going on, but a modern English translation might be better.
The story itself is awesome and far superior to Pilgrim's Progress. Like that story, the narrator has a vision and encounters various aspects of human nature in his quest for salvation. The characters are more complex than in Pilgrim's Progress and you have a beautiful tale of a man trying to adhere to his Christian faith amidst clerical and secular corruption.
This poem stands alongside Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' as one of the great products of Middle English; this also has the character of being a different sort of Middle English than Chaucer's more courtly, continental influenced variety. Thus, it gives breadth to the history of the English language. Langland is often ranked as a great English poet on a par with Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth and Yeats, as representative of his age both in topics as well as language facility.
This epic poem deals with themes familiar for the time - like Dante and Milton, Langland deals with the grand ideas of the meaning of life and the destiny of humankind.Read more ›
At the level of "scholarly seriousness," this edition lies somewhere between the heavy-duty Donaldson B-text (Piers Plowman: The B Version - Will's Visions of Piers Plowman, Do-Well, Do-Better and Do-Best: An Edition in the Form of Trinity College Cambridge MS B.15.17, Corrected and Restored from the Known Evidence, with Variant Readings (Revised Edition)) and the several translations that are floating around on Amazon. For the serious student, this edition simply cannot be beat in terms of price. For the casual reader, one of the translations might be preferable; while Langland's Middle English is more fun to read, his dialect will seem a bit alien to most eyes. Furthermore, I question whether or not it is really necessary for a non-scholar to read an original language edition. To my mind, the poetic language of Piers Plowman is not on par with that of Chaucer, Gower, or the Pearl Poet, and I think that Langland sometimes does not understand the dynamics of alliterative verse. While it may not be at the level of "rum, ram, ruf, by lettre," I don't think the casual reader need upbraid herself for not plodding through the Middle English. However, it's all a matter of determining what one wants from the text.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ultimate test of your medieval English language skills. This is a very challenging and enjoyable read. Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by Dwilson1282
This is an indispensable edition of Langland's great poem. I can't imagine what students of medieval literature would do without it.Published on November 8, 2013 by PPscholar
This book, like all books had its pulses and minuses. On the plus side this book has major cultural importance and is regarded as one of the major or even best accounts of... Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Will